The first person to achieve Nebraska Hall-of-Fame status as both a player and a coach, the All-American who ranks second on the Huskers’ career rushing chart and a first-team All-American return specialist from a decade ago highlight the 2012 class that will be inducted the Nebraska Chapter of the National Football Foundation Hall of Fame on Friday evening, Sept. 21, the night before Nebraska plays Idaho State in a non-conference game.
Frank Solich, Nebraska’s 29th head football coach after a sterling 29-year career as a Husker assistant and head coach, will not be able to attend the Hall of Fame banquet or the game because of his head coaching duties at the University of Ohio. Solich earned Hall-of-Fame status by chapter decree, having also earned the same honor as a Nebraska player under Bob Devaney from 1962-65. Solich will be honored sometime in the future when he is able to find an open date from his head coaching duties to attend a Nebraska home game.
In a statement released through the Ohio Athletic Department on Tuesday afternoon, Solich said: “To be mentioned along with some of the all-time greats in Nebraska football history is a tremendous honor for me. During my time at Nebraska, I had the opportunity to work with several talented athletes and coaches, and all played a major role in our success.”
Ahman Green (1995-96-97) is the All-American running back who ranks No. 2 on Nebraska's career rushing chart (and No. 1 on the all-time chart of the Green Bay Packers). DeJuan Groce (1999-00-01-02) is the All-American return specialist. The other three of five Husker Hall-of-Fame player inductees are center Josh Heskew, NCAA record-setting placekicker Dale Klein and defensive end Steve Manstedt, who went from walk-on status to a year with the Washington Redskins in the National Football League.
In addition to Solich and the five Husker players, the 2012 banquet will feature two special award winners – Dan (Larry the Cable Guy) and Cara Whitney, who will receive the Clarence E. Swanson Meritorious Service Award and Ron and Jeanie Carson, who will receive the Nebraska Chapter’s Lyell Bremser Special Merit Award. Both couples have made major commitments to Nebraska football as well significant contributions to their respective communities in the Lincoln and Omaha areas.
Rounding out the 2012 Nebraska Football Hall of Fame class are two former Kearney State College/University of Nebraska-Kearney players – Jim Irwin, an end who played from 1960-63 and Mitch Johnson, a defensive back and punt returner who played from 1973-76.
Courtesy: Nebraska Media Relations